NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: Niners Move Up, Chargers Slide

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers challanges a call against the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park on October 30, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Plenty of highs and lows for California's football teams this week.

In San Francisco, the 49ers are earning the most respect they've earned all season and rightfully so. One more week, one more win for a team with young studs all over the field, especially on defense as CBS Sportsline points out. Sportsline, ESPN and SBNation all have the Niners at no. 2 in their rankings, the highest they've been ranked all season on all three sites.

In Oakland, a bye week only lended itself to the continual questions about whether or not former USC star Carson Palmer will be ready to play this week. With more time with the team and the playbook, Palmer will have his first true opportunity to show Raider Nation that he is indeed worth all of the hoopla.

Sportsline (no. 15) and SBNation (no. 17) kept the Raiders steady with this week's rankings. But ESPN dropped them even though they didn't play.

In San Diego, Phillip Rivers is hearing the loudest negative chirps of his career after his fumbled snap against the Chiefs caused a big loss to Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs. Consequently, Sportsline (no. 14) dropped them four spots, ESPN (no. 15) dropped them six spots and SBNation (no. 16) gave them the biggest drop of them all at nine. Ouch.

But in other news, it never rains in Southern California.

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